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Carbohydrates, Glycemic Index, and Pregnancy Outcomes in Gestational Diabetes

Abstract

This review critically evaluates the current evidence regarding the effect of the dietary glycemic index (GI) on pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Current evidence, although limited, consistently supports the advantages of, and has demonstrated no disadvantages of, a low-GI diet. We conclude that pregnant women with GDM are likely to benefit from following a low-GI meal pattern, with no significant side effects, and consideration of the GI should be given when formulating a diet for GDM. However, until larger scale intervention trials are completed, an exclusive low-GI diet should not replace the current recommended diets for GDM from relevant government and health agencies. Further studies that intervene at an earlier stage of pregnancy are required.

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Disclosure

Conflicts of interest: J.C.Y. Louie: none. J.C. Brand-Miller is a co-author of The New Glucose Revolution book series (Hodder and Stoughton, London; Marlowe and Co., NY; Hodder Headline, Sydney; and elsewhere), is the Director of the Glycemic Index Foundation, a not-for-profit that administers a food symbol program in Australia, manages the University of Sydney Glycemic Index testing service, has received honoraria from Pfizer Nutrition Pty Ltd, has received grant support from NHMRC, has received payment for manuscript preparation from Fonterra NZ Pty Ltd, 2012, Inovo Biologic Canada, 2010–2011, and has received travel/accommodations expenses covered or reimbursed from FINEST Conference 2012, A*Star Singapore Government, and Food Structure, Digestion and Health Conference, 2012, Riddett Institute, Massey University, NZ. R.G. Moses: none.

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Louie, J.C.Y., Brand-Miller, J.C. & Moses, R.G. Carbohydrates, Glycemic Index, and Pregnancy Outcomes in Gestational Diabetes. Curr Diab Rep 13, 6–11 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-012-0332-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-012-0332-1

Keywords

  • Glycemic index
  • Carbohydrates
  • Pregnancy
  • Diet
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus